“It’s what we don’t see which is truly frightening.”
It takes nearly 90 minutes — one hour and 21 minutes — before we finally see the shark in Jaws. That wasn’t the original plan, but after the mechanical beast sunk to the bottom of the ocean on the first day of shooting, director Steven Spielberg was forced to work around the lack of his toothy lead. “I had no choice but to figure out how to tell the story without the shark,” he said. Jaws works better with the delayed reveal, and so does Stranger Things.
It isn’t until late in the Netflix show’s run that we get a good look at the Demogorgon, or The Monster, or whatever you want to call it, just call it terrifying. In an interview with Vice, actor Mark Steger, who played The Creature (as well as Jesus in Metallica’s “Until It Sleeps” music video), said he thinks the… thing is “more mushroom, which is kind of between plant and animal. Mushroom DNA is more similar to animal DNA than to plant DNA.”
That’s only speculation though. “He bleeds. Or maybe they bleed, or she bleeds. I don’t know what pronoun to use for the monster,” he conceded. “But it feels like a little bit of both [plant and animal] to me.”
Let’s go with Mushroom Monster. How long did it take Steger to get into his Mushroom Monster costume? “It took about a half hour or 40 minutes total, depending on whether or not we were using the full animatronics, [and] the animatronic head, or the stunt head,” he said, adding, “It was like I was part puppet. I was part machine. I was part human, animating the whole thing.” Not only does that sound complicated and time-consuming, but Steger was basically living the plot of Home Alone from the Wet Bandits’ perspective.
[The hardest part was] the whole scene where I was fighting the kids in the house: The actors Joe [Keery], Charlie [Heaton], and Natalia [Dyer] are there, I appear in the room, I’m shot, I’m beaten with a bat with spikes on it, I step in a bear trap, and I’m lit on fire. There was also the choreography of the fight. Of course, we shot it in pieces, but there were some parts where we did almost the whole thing. That was probably the most challenging one. (Via Vice)
At least he didn’t get a tarantula — or shark — dropped on his face.
Read the rest of the interesting interview over at Vice.